RINOsaur DiGirolamo Says Vote on PA Severance Tax Coming Soon

RINOsaur /ri-no-sor/ (noun) – 1. a very old (fossil-worthy) Republican-In-Name-Only, someone who, if he were truly honest, would have registered as a Democrat decades ago. 2. so-called moderate Republican whom voters should have been put out to pasture decades ago. 3. Gene DiGirolamo. Pennsylvania State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican-in-Name-Only (RINO) from the Philadelphia area, has been trying to punish the Marcellus industry in the state since 2011 when he first introduced legislation to impose a Marcellus-killing severance tax. And pretty much every year since then he has re-introduced a severance tax bill. Sometimes it’s for 3.2%. Other times 4.9% (see our DiGirolamo stories here). It appears DiGirolamo just plucks a number out the air at random and goes with it. He plucked another one in May, introducing House Bill (HB) 1401, which would slap a 3.2% severance tax on all shale gas production, on top of the existing impact tax (see Tiresome: Philly RINO Rep Gene DiGirolamo Intros Severance Tax Again). At a rally to support the new bill, DiGirolamo was the only Republican. All the rest were socialists or Democrats. You have to hand it to old Gene–he is determined. Yesterday DiGirolamo said he thinks he now has enough fellow RINOs who will support his severance tax bill to report it out of committee and to the House floor for a full vote…
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Tiresome: Philly RINO Rep Gene DiGirolamo Intros Severance Tax Again

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo

Pennsylvania State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican-in-Name-Only (RINO) from the Philadelphia area, has been trying to punish the Marcellus industry in the state since 2011 when he first introduced legislation to impose a Marcellus-killing severance tax. And pretty much every year since then he has re-introduced a severance tax bill. Sometimes it’s for 3.2%. Other times 4.9% (see our DiGirolamo stories here). It appears he just plucks a number out the air and goes with it. DiGirolamo is back with yet another such plan. He has just introduced House Bill (HB) 1401, which would slap a 3.2% severance tax on all shale gas production. The socialist CLEAR Coalition–which advocates theft of other people’s money to fund their favorite “public” causes–held a rally to support the thefty HB 1401. RINO DiGirolamo showed up, the only “Republican” to do so. All of the other officials present were liberal Democrats. What does that tell you about this bill and its sponsor?…Continue reading

PA RINO Rep. Gene DiGirolamo Proposes Marcellus Tax Hike – Again

Seeking to kill the economic miracle that has been shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania, the so-called “brave” Republican (really a RINO) PA Rep. Gene DiGirolamo is proposing a 4.9% tax on the value of natural gas extracted and sold from state wells. That’s in addition to the impact fee/tax already in place. The new tax would supposedly raise another $640 million of money that politicians like DiGirolamo could get their grubby hands on to parcel out in vote buying schemes (rather than continue to do the hard work begun by Tom Corbett in reigning in spending).

DiGirolamo has been pedaling higher taxes on Marcellus drilling since at least Sept. 2011 (see Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thursday, Sep 22, 2011). Such a plan doesn’t stand a prayer of a chance while Republicans hold both houses and the governor’s chair. Which raises the question of why DiGirolamo would float this plan again now. Likely a sleazy political ploy to curry favor with his Democrat friends because he figures they’ll be taking over next year after the election…
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1 Vote Saves the Day – PA Severance Tax Vote Delayed to Next Year

A single vote saved the day on Tuesday, preventing the horrible Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1401 from potentially coming up for a full vote. We’ve covered this insane bill repeatedly because it is an existential threat to the Marcellus Shale industry in the Keystone State (see our stories here). State Rep. (and RINO) Todd Stephens, from Montgomery County, made a motion on the floor Tuesday evening to keep debating HB 1401 as a “Special Order of Business” after all the business was done for the day. Tuesday was the last day of the current session until late January next year. Stephens’ motion received 100 votes. It needed 101 to pass. What does it mean? At the earliest the bill won’t be considered again until Jan. 22. Practically speaking, since the bill has not been able to muster enough support to get a vote by the full House, it means the bill is now on life support–near death. Which is a VERY good thing for PA…
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PA Severance Tax Bill Continues to be Blocked by Republicans

Did you know there is major news this week about the proposed Pennsylvania severance tax bill, House Bill (HB) 1401? No, you won’t read anything about what has happened with the bill this week, since the return of the PA House, in mainstream media. Why? Because mainstream media refuses to actually report news any more. They only pedal advocacy. HB 1401 continues to be blocked by courageous House Republicans, even though a variety of amendments have been raised and there was more floor debate on the bill–this week. The bill’s failure to garner a vote and the increasing likelihood it won’t, doesn’t fit mainstream media’s “this tax is inevitable” narrative. Go ahead–do a news search. Nothing in the Harrisburg Patriot-News (the “record” of what happens in the state legislature). Nothing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a reliable anti-drilling screed. Nothing in the Philadelphia Inquirer (is Andrew Maykuth on vacation?). And yet, there IS major news! The only source we could find to inform us of what’s happening is the leftist, Big Green former Secretary of the state Dept. of Environmental Protection, writing on a blog site. Our hat is off to David Hess for his willingness to do the job no one else will do, bringing us the blow by blow of what’s happening with HB 1401…
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How Low Will They Go? RINOs/Dems Decrease PA Sev Tax Bill to 1.5%

We’re not sure when this happened, but the dreadful severance tax bill in the Pennsylvania House, House Bill (HB) 1401 went from being a 3.2% tax to now a 1.5% tax on Marcellus production. Even with the lower rate, as we pointed out in a post yesterday, liberal Democrats are already voicing disgust and laying blame in anticipation that the bill will not pass (see Ray of Hope in PA Severance Tax Debate: Lib Dems Attack M-U). We have yet more evidence along those lines. An editorial by John Baer, a lib Dem “columnist” for the Philadelphia Daily News says he smells something “fishy” about the current debate over HB 1401. Baer thinks the bill is going nowhere fast and is nothing more than a fundraiser, to get both sides of the debate charged up and flooding Harrisburg with big bucks to fund political campaigns…
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Final Push to Tax PA Drillers & Give Money to Philly Teachers

The tax-and-spend liberals in Pennsylvania and those who oppose fossil fuels (almost always one-and-the-same) are still pushing a dreadful, devastating severance tax bill proffered by RINOsaur (i.e. ancient RINO) State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo known as House Bill (HB) 1401. The bill, if passed into law, would tack a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing ~5% impact tax (called a “fee”) already levied on Marcellus drillers, thereby effectively killing any new Marcellus drilling in the state (see PA Frankenstein House Bill Merges Severance Tax & Minimum Royalty). Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the House debated the bill for two days–then left town “abruptly” without taking any further action (see Update on PA Severance Tax Bill – More Progress, House Leaves Town). What happens now? The House doesn’t return for voting work until next Monday, Dec. 4th. In the meantime, the bill’s lib supporters in mainstream media are trying to create the impression the bill will get adopted when the House returns from break…
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Update on PA Severance Tax Bill – More Progress, House Leaves Town

We have a brief respite, but are still in a dangerous position. The Pennsylvania House continued to debate and vote on amendments to House Bill (HB) 1401 yesterday–the Frankenstein bill introduced by RINOsaur Gene DiGirolamo (“Republican” from the Philadelphia area) that would tack a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing ~5% impact tax (called a “fee”) already levied on Marcellus drillers, thereby effectively killing any new Marcellus drilling in the state (see PA Frankenstein House Bill Merges Severance Tax & Minimum Royalty). Debate on the bill began Monday, making quick progress (see Disastrous PA Severance Tax Bill Debated in House, Makes Progress). More progress was made yesterday. Some amendments to the bill passed, some failed–and then the House “abruptly adjourned” late last night without voting on the full bill itself. They got outta Dodge. The House returns to Harrisburg for more voting on Dec. 4th, so we have nearly two weeks of a reprieve before the battle begins again. It is vital this bill NOT PASS–for the future of Marcellus drilling in PA. Below is a list of the amendments that have, so far, passed and not passed, and how they tweak and change the overall Marcellus-killing HB 1401 bill…
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Disastrous PA Severance Tax Bill Debated in House, Makes Progress

Warning: Pennsylvania House Republicans are about to kill Marcellus drilling in PA by adopting a severance tax on top of the existing impact tax–creating the highest taxation of the oil and gas industry in the United States. Is PA ready to trade away an entire industry propping up its sorry finances–just to give money to Philly teacher’s unions? This is a TRAGEDY in the making. RINOsaur Gene DiGirolamo (“Republican” from the Philadelphia area) introduced a Frankenstein bill earlier this year called House Bill (HB) 1401 (see PA Frankenstein House Bill Merges Severance Tax & Minimum Royalty). The bill would tack a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing ~5% impact tax (called a “fee”) already levied on Marcellus drillers. As soon as the bill made its way out of committee to the full House for consideration, over one hundred amendments were attached to it. Most of those amendments have been ruled “out of order” and removed from the bill, reviving the bill which is now under active consideration. A number of important amendments still remain and some of those were voted on yesterday. What you need to know front and center is that this bill is about a massive transference of wealth from those who produce wealth by working hard (drilling companies and landowners) to those who don’t (teacher’s unions). One of the amendments to HB 1401 passed yesterday reserves the first $150 million of the new severance tax solely for Big Education. The entire amount of revenue raised from a new severance tax, according to RINOsaur DiGirolamo, is expected to be $150 million. That is, ALL of the severance tax will go to Big Education, as payback. And you thought MDN was just spouting off, using hyperbole, ignorant or just plain mistaken all these years we’ve been screaming at the top of our lungs that the severance tax is nothing more than payback to Philly teachers for voting Tom Wolf into office. We (don’t) hate to say it: we were right. And now traitorous Republicans are making it possible for this to happen–for Wolf to get his way and corruptly funnel money back to the unions that elected him. Is any one else outraged at this? Are House Republicans asleep at the wheel???…
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PA Rep. Garth Everett Explains Severance Tax Comments to MDN

PA Rep. Garth Everett

Earlier this week MDN ran a story (and our response) highlighting what appears to be a change in position by Pennsylvania Rep. Garth Everett, Republican from Muncy (Lycoming County), PA, on the issue of a severance tax (see Et tu Brute? PA Rep. Garth Everett Falls for Severance Tax Trap). Everett had spoken to the local Williamsport Sun-Gazette and the resulting article quoted Everett as saying he, “feels the time has come for the gas industry to pay a tax on production costs.” The article also said that he is, “fine with a [severance tax] measure that doesn’t transfer the tax to landowners.” Which led us to chide Everett–someone we’ve long admired. Folks around Lycoming County, where Marcellus drilling is big business, read the Sun-Gazette article and the MDN response and began calling Everett to ask him about his sudden change. Everett contacted MDN, requesting a call to clarify what he did–and did not–say to the Sun-Gazette. MDN is happy to report that we now have the full story, and feel much better, about Everett’s position on the severance tax. Here’s a summary of our conversation with Rep. Garth Everett…
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PA Budget Almost Done, Tone-Deaf Gov. Wolf Still Wants Sev Tax

The Pennsylvania legislature has spoken. The PA Senate and House have now sent all three budget-related bills to liberal Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. In the end, severance tax proponents, including traitorous Republicans in the Senate (and House), could not ramrod through a new, punishing tax on the Marcellus industry–on top of the many taxes the industry already pays. RINOsaur Gene DiGirolamo could not get his 3.2% severance tax bill passed in time for this year’s budget–but it hangs out there like a zombie, not quite ready to die, just yet (see An Honest Discussion about PA’s Proposed Severance Tax). And even though the nosebleed-high spending plan for this year’s budget is now fully “funded” by hackery like borrowing against future tobacco settlements, and expanded gambling, Gov. Wolf still won’t let a severance tax go. Why? Because his political future, getting reelected next year, depends on it. Without a severance tax Wolf is toast politically (among his rabid base), and he knows it. So Wolf, tone-deaf as ever, keeps on harping to pass a severance tax–even though it’s not needed for this year’s budget. Fortunately it appears there are now fewer swamp dwellers in Harrisburg willing to back Wolf’s request…
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An Honest Discussion about PA’s Proposed Severance Tax

While Pennsylvania legislators and PA Gov. Tom Wolf work to finish up the four-month-late state budget, the issue of whether or not to enact a severance tax to help pay for Harrisburg’s wild overspending is still alive. We think it’s mostly dead, but the severance tax keeps coming back to life like a zombie in a B horror flick. The latest incarnation comes from a Republican in Name Only (RINO), Gene DiGirolamo, a Philadelphia area member of the PA House. As we previously reported, DiGirolamo’s House Bill (HB) 1401 would slap a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing impact tax, which is the equivalent of a 5%+ severance tax already (see PA Frankenstein House Bill Merges Severance Tax & Minimum Royalty). It’s obscene. The bill was reported out of committee and went to the full House for a vote, but the bill is now suffocating under the load of more than 350 amendments. We think (and hope) it’s dead–but again, you never know. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) was tired of reading the half-truths and outright lies by severance tax supporters like DiGirolamo, so they composed and sent a letter to all members of the PA House. The letter sets the record straight, refuting the lies spread about the severance tax and the drilling industry. It is a devastating letter that MDN subscribers need to read…
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PA House Passes Fiscal Code Bill with Bad Riders, but No Sev Tax

Yesterday MDN told you about two different environmental “riders” snuck into the Pennsylvania Fiscal Code bill that is part of the annual state budget (now four months late). The riders have nothing to do with the budget or raising revenue. It’s a sleazy political ploy to pass unpopular measures that wouldn’t get passed on a standalone vote. One of the riders changes the terms of existing leases by allowing drillers to reactivate old/expired leases, either by restarting production or by drilling a new well if the landowner doesn’t object within 90 days of notification (see PA Republican Senate Changes Lease Terms for Landowners). The other rider more or less enacts a permanent ban on drilling in southeast PA, in the South Newark Basin (see PA Republican Senate Extends SE PA Drilling Ban in Newark Basin). The bad news is that the House passed the Fiscal Code bill (109-75). The bill has now gone to PA Gov. Wolf for his signature. No word yet on whether the flaky Wolf will actually sign it. The good news is that a severance tax bill which recently had gained steam when it was reported out of committee (RINO Gene DiGirolamo’s House Bill (HB) 1401) did not make the cut. So far DiGirolamo’s bill has been loaded down with 350 amendments and there’s no end in sight for when it will receive voting attention, meaning (for now) it’s dead…
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PA Frankenstein House Bill Merges Severance Tax & Minimum Royalty

As predicted earlier this week, yesterday the Pennsylvania House Finance Committee voted to approve a 3.2% severance tax on top of the existing 5%+ impact tax (see RINOsaur DiGirolamo Says Vote on PA Severance Tax Coming Soon). Democrats and mainstream media are nearly orgasmic–this is as far as any severance tax bill has ever gotten in PA. The bill, House Bill (HB) 1401, now goes to the full House for a vote–maybe. It remains to be seen whether or not House Speaker Mike Turzai will allow a vote in the full House. There are procedural ways to tie up the bill. While it’s a crap shoot as to whether or not the full House would pass a Marcellus-killing severance tax, there is a section in HB 1401 that is sure to kill the bill–a guaranteed minimum royalty for landowners of 12.5%. Don’t get us wrong–we think the minimum royalty issue is very important and deserves a vote. PA Rep. Garth Everett has championed the issue, introducing a bill to accomplish that objective three times in the last six years (see PA Rep. Garth Everett Reintroduces Minimum Royalty Bill, 3rd Time). No doubt HB 1401’s chief sponsor Gene DiGirolamo (RINOsaur from the Philadelphia area) is hoping to gain support from landowners for the severance tax by grafting on the minimum royalty provision–in the style of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. Take a body part here (severance tax) and a body part there (guaranteed minimum royalty), sew it together (HB 1401) and shock it into life with a vote. Landowners should beware of this ruse. The minimum royalty issue needs to be addressed separately, on it’s own, and not part of a severance tax bill…
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PA House Passes New Budget Bill w/No Sev. Tax, Wolf Demands Tax

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill (HB) 542 to try and finalize the three month plus late PA budget. This latest bill (see the summary below) uses mostly borrowing, against tobacco settlement money and small tax increases on online businesses and fireworks distributors to balance this year’s budget. The bill does NOT include a severance tax. Sounding like Johnny One-Note, PA Gov. Wolf immediately said any final deal must include a Marcellus-killing severance tax, or he won’t sign it. Some of the traitorous Republicans in the Senate still want to see a severance tax too (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). As we reported yesterday, RINOsaur Sen. Gene DiGirolamo believes a Senate committee will today report out his horrible 3.2% severance tax bill (see RINOsaur DiGirolamo Says Vote on PA Severance Tax Coming Soon). Talk of a 3.2% severance tax is false, because it would be added on top of the existing impact fee (i.e. tax) which is already the equivalent of a 5%+ severance tax. DiGirolamo’s bill, if passed, would vault PA into the position of having the highest effective tax on oil and gas in the country–killing any new Marcellus drilling in the state. Existing wells deplete over time, so in essence it would be a moderately slow death to the industry (and tax revenues from it)–dissipating to nothing in 5-10 years. Which is just fine for “Republicans” like DiGirolamo. At any rate, here’s the details on the House plan passed last night, with NO severance tax, and Johnny One-Note’s insistence on a tax…
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PA Severance Tax Not Dead Yet, Industry Unites to Oppose

Sadly, the severance tax issue in Pennsylvania is not yet dead, as we had hoped. Last week budget negotiations broke down and PA Gov. Wolf took matters into his own hands by borrowing $1.25 billion from the state’s Liquor Control Board to plug a gap in this year’s budget (see PA Gov Wolf “Acts” to Finalize the State Budget, No Severance Tax). However, it’s not enough money, and it’s temporary. So Wolf, the PA Democrat Party, and a variety of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only, i.e. swamp dwellers) continue to beat the drum for a severance tax this year. Yesterday Gov. Wolf went to Erie, PA to stump for “a reasonable severance tax.” He and others in his party still think it’s possible to get a tax passed this year. Next Monday the PA House Finance Committee (controlled by Republicans) will reconvene and hold a hearing on a plan to impose a 3.2% severance tax this year. The shale industry and their friends are holding a rally in Harrisburg on the same day, to make the point loud and clear that such a tax is a Marcellus-killer. Below is news about Wolf’s tax stump speech, the hearing next week, and details about the rally opposing the severance tax…
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